SEATTLE, July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Summer travel
inarguably looks different this summer, and the latest report from
Expedia.com sheds light on the emerging priorities and behaviors of
Americans looking to get away. Leveraging search and demand data
and a national poll of 1,000+ Americans, results from the report
- 85 percent of U.S. travelers are likely to take a road trip
- Interest in domestic summer stays is up 10 percent
year-on-year, making up nearly 85 percent of hotel searches overall
- Demand for staycations is on the rise
- Flexibility is key: 97 percent of stays booked in June were
refundable rates, up nearly 20 percent year-on-year
- Health and safety, avoiding crowds prioritized over price
"People miss travel, they have vacation days to use and they
also want to stay safe," says Senior Director of PR and Social for
Expedia.com, Nisreene Atassi. "Given how quickly the advice and
restrictions are changing, one of our main priorities at Expedia is
making sure our customers have the information they need to
navigate this summer travel season."
Read on for more insights and tips from the Expedia 2020 Summer
Summer travelers staying closer to home
Traveling within the U.S. is always a popular option for
Americans, but international travel restrictions coupled with
health and safety uncertainty has led to a 10 percent increase in
domestic summer travel searches, according to data from
Expedia.com.1 Nearly 85 percent of hotel searches on the
site in June were for accommodations located within the U.S.
Furthermore, about a quarter of June bookings were for same-state
stays, a slight increase from last year.
Last-minute getaways are also on the rise, with more travelers
booking trips 0-7 days out this summer than in previous years.
"While the desire to get away is still going strong for many of
us, how and where we're choosing to go this summer looks
different," says Atassi. "Beaches and national parks remain
popular, but more Americans are choosing destinations that are
closer to home and drivable, versus going somewhere more exotic.
Interestingly, we've seen that travelers are making these plans at
the last minute. Things are so unpredictable right now with
COVID-19, so it's possible that travelers feel more comfortable
making travel plans for the near future vs. planning too far
Safety first: road trips seen as the safest way to get away
According to a recent survey of 1,000 Americans commissioned by
Expedia2, 85 percent say they're planning or likely to
go on a road trip this summer, driven primarily by the need for a
change of scenery (43%) and the desire to enjoy the outdoors
As travelers venture away from home and destinations open back
up to tourism, health and safety takes priority over price when
trip-planning. 72 percent of survey respondents said they're opting
for a road trip this summer because it feels safer than flying, and
more people listed health and safety (72%) and avoiding crowds
(68%) as top concerns over budget (60%). In response to these
concerns, the industry is rolling out new sanitation measures to
help minimize risks. Expedia displays these hygiene amenities on
the site so travelers can feel comfortable leaving home; they'll
know whether a hotel property has enhanced cleaning processes or if
an airline requires passengers to wear face masks.
Travelers can also message their hotel or vacation rental right
from the Expedia mobile app and ask for more info on their
policies, request special arrangements or check whether certain
amenities like the pool or spa are going to be open.
With so much uncertainty impacting vacation plans this year,
many travelers are opting for plans that can be easily adjusted,
canceled or rescheduled. Expedia data1 shows 97 percent
of hotel stays booked in June were refundable rates, a 20 percent
increase from the year prior.
To make it easier to search for flexible options, Expedia lets
travelers filter by hotels that offer free cancellation and
airlines that are waiving any change fees for future bookings.
"People often choose non-refundable rates because they're
generally cheaper, but with so many destinations eager to welcome
back tourists it's more realistic than ever to find a great value
without having to sacrifice flexibility," says Atassi.
Planning tips and tricks
Survey respondents2 weighed in with their top advice
and considerations for those planning a summer road trip:
- Have a plan. Thinking about where to stop for gas, how
long to drive each day and what time of day to drive through a town
are all aspects of a road trip to map out in advance.
- Know where to stay. If you're among the 52 percent of
travelers staying in hotels & motels this summer, make sure to
research ahead of time or inquire about specific policies such as
whether the property will have decreased occupancy. Other
accommodation types people will most likely opt for on a road trip
this summer include staying with friends/family (31%), vacation
rentals (28%) and camping (24%).
- Do vehicle maintenance. Car trouble, especially with
kids or pets in the mix, is rarely a fun experience. When planning
a road trip, have your car serviced or inspected before leaving.
Alternately, rent a car with better gas mileage or more space.
Bundling a hotel and car rental on Expedia.com can also mean
hundreds in trip savings.
- Download apps. Whether it's a kid-friendly game or
navigation, it's a good idea to download any apps you'll need
before hitting the road. The Expedia mobile app is a great resource
for summer trip planning, for finding flexible, last-minute travel
deals and keeping track of your trip while on-the-go.
- Remember to bring cash. Tolls, cash-only services and
tipping are just a few things you might need money for during a
- Pack the essentials. In addition to clothing and
toiletries, road trippers advise bringing snacks, an emergency kit,
cleaning/sanitary products, valid documents (ID and insurance card)
and a spare car key.
For more information and inspiration on trip planning, check out
the Expedia Viewfinder Blog.
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1Data based on interest or demand on Expedia.com
during June 2020 for travel between
June 1 – September 7, 2020 compared to the same time
periods in 2019.
2Survey commissioned by Expedia and conducted by Survey
Monkey, polling 1,077 respondents, aged 18+, located in the
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